This woman is my destiny, She said, “Oh, oh, oh, Shut up and dance with me.”

Steps.  Taking steps.  Today has been a day to reflect a bit and look forward.

I’ve taken some pretty big steps on my journey towards my true self.  I’ve accepted the truth of myself, I’ve been to an expert (I do wish I could go more often, but money is still very much an issue.)  I’ve been reaching out to the resources I have for support, and even made some friends through them.  I’ve even began the medical side of transition.  These are all great steps.

I’ve also started some of the smaller steps.  I’ve been working on taking care of my nails.  I used to be horrible at picking them and keeping them broken and short.  I’ve been acclimating myself to wearing chapstick/lip balm.

There are steps I’ve been wanting to take and have been unable to do really.  I really want to work out.  I can’t afford a gym membership, but if I could, I’d be there most days lately.  I really feel the desire to get into shape, and the new focus and drive I have certainly have shaped that.  I have a friend who’s apartment has a small gym, and they’re willing to occasionally work out with me, but that’s once or twice a week right now.  I can’t blame them for not wanting to hang out all the time, but it leaves me not able to work out as much as I really want.

The same friend is going to help teach me make up.  I don’t know anything about wearing make up beyond nail polish really.  I can’t afford laser hair removal, so for a while, covering my facial hair is going to require make up.

The money thing is a serious issue right now.  In addition to the transition costs (which are very high given that I’m doing it entirely out of pocket,) I’ve also got some outstanding bills I need to figure out a way to cover.  I’m not getting very many hours at work, and school keeps me from being able to commit much time to work anyway.  I’m to the point I’m ready to quit my school (it turns out it’s not very good,) and try to find full time work.  I have a possible line on a job that would be, but the thing is I actually love the job I currently have.  It just doesn’t pay or promise the hours.  If I could get full time at my job, I might be alright, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.  I think I’ll start putting in at some of the full time places I’ve been thinking about.

I have two people both willing to let me crash with them when I finally come out to my family.  I currently live with some family due to the money issue.  I’ve known for a while that I’ll be coming out via letter, it’s a method that a lot of places, including my counselor, have recommended highly.  It gives my family the space and privacy to have the initial freak out, and me not having to be there and go immediately on the defensive.  I’m planning this for a few months down the road, as to give myself time to hopefully save a little.  I’m also not quite ready to deal with the possibility of losing them completely.  It’s a very real possibility.  It happens a lot more than people think sadly.  I’ve only told my brother so far, who’s a very close friend aside, and he didn’t really respond much after that.  We’re kinda back to normal, but it’s something I’ve never brought up again.  So I know when I’m ready to tell the rest of the family, I will do so come out, It’ll be by letter, and I intend to spend the next two days away from my family, not responding to texts or answering calls.  I’ll make sure they know this.

Coming out to family has been the biggest concern I’ve had outside of money.

But today marks a week since I started HRT, and that has been amazing.  The new clarity and focus, renewed energy and feeling more control over my body has been wonderful.  So I’ll just keep taking the steps forward, and making my way the best I can for now.

–  R

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